J.C. Penney on Tuesday announced it launched a new home brand, Linden Street.
The brand includes bedding and sheet products ranging between $40 and $220, according to a company press release.
The retailer said it had sustainability in mind when launching the brand, which includes products that are free of more than 300 harmful substances, and feature packaging made with biodegradable labels and recycled polyester.
Just days after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, J.C. Penney introduced a new collection aimed at bringing "a fresh beginning" to its home private labels, and possibly the retailer itself.
Although launching a new brand while in the bankruptcy process may come as a surprise, part of the retailer's restructuring plan included "offering compelling merchandise." Similarly, Toys R Us in 2017 launched a rebranding campaign and formed a new partnership with marketplace platform Mirakl just days after it filed for Chapter 11. However, the move cost the struggling toy retailer in the long run and Toys R Us eventually ended up liquidating.
The home space is also a sector J.C. Penney had been moving away from in recent years. When then-CEO Marvin Ellison took the helm in 2016, he made a big push to return appliances and furniture to the retailer's stores after it discontinued sales of non-apparel items back in 1983. The move paid off for a while, but in November 2018, Penney executives said that underperforming categories in the third quarter included "big ticket areas and home such as appliances." In February 2019, the retailer announced it would pull appliances and furniture items from its U.S. stores.
The home category is also a sector that has seen increased competition from off-pricers and e-commerce retailers, battering the more traditional players. Pier 1, which filed for bankruptcy protection in February and last week announced it would wind down its U.S. retail operations, had ceded market share to the likes of Wayfair, Amazon and TJX's HomeGoods. Regional chain Art Van furniture also filed for bankruptcy in March, and discount home goods retailer Tuesday Morning is reportedly eyeing a filing as early as this week.
Though, with the sustainability element to the collection, Penney may be trying to attract a younger set of consumers, who tend to favor more environmentally conscious brands.